Lust is not only about sex
Any desire that is inappropriately strong
Lust entices you with promises of feeling great with lasting pleasure. The reality is that it will leave you feeling miserable, wanting more and hating the consequences!
Every guy knows what lust is and how quickly he can be turned on sexually when he lusts after another person's body. Every teenager finds lust triggered off in their life when puberty begins. They don't have to invite it in - it just appears!
How we handle that lust determines whether we will be a success sexually or be broken and destroyed sexually.
- Unbridled, uncontrolled or lawless appetite (sexual in this case). Using pornography is a powerful example of lust in action.
- A foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant short-lived passion or attraction.
Lust, love and infatuation are difficult to define and separate in our minds. True love is 'selfless' rather than 'selfish'. True love seeks what is best for the other person.
This link gives a great comparison between infatuation, lust and love.
Why lust is a problem
From a Christian perspective, lust says 'Here's how you can be satisfied without doing things God's way'. The truth is that lust will leave you unsatisfied and will continually push you to greater highs by crossing your personal and society moral boundaries. Uncontrolled lust will lead you on a path to self destruction. The more lust is fed, the more it demands to be fed!
Phrases like 'just appreciating God's creation' or 'just window shopping' are often used to cover up the real lust going on.
Why do we have lust capability?
It is the sexual desire that attracts us to the beauty of a female body. It is this sexual desire that will join you 'as one' to your marriage partner. That is why we have this powerful force within us - to ultimately bring great satisfaction with a lifelong marriage partner.
In our view, it's a mistake to confuse normal sexual attraction with lust. Sexual attraction is natural. When a good-looking female walks by and a man "takes note" – a routine occurrence that takes place with a fair degree of regularity – this is not necessarily the same thing as "lusting after a woman." That's because true lust involves a choice and an act of the will. To a certain extent it's a conscious decision to pursue the desirable object instead of simply allowing it to pass on by.
Normal teenage sexual thoughts
It is hard to picture how any boy growing through adolescence could come to desire a woman sexually without having at some point pictured in his mind what it must be like to have sexual intercourse with a woman. In fact, I would think that the only boy who might not have such thoughts would be one who received a message growing up that all sexual intercourse is evil. As puberty increases his capacity for sexual feelings whether he consciously directs it or not, his mind will be drawn towards those things that increase sexual pleasure. God's intent for the energy growing in him is that it will lead him to marry one day, and so, hopefully, he will direct his sexual thoughts that way. Is this wrong? Is this lust for an adolescent? I think not. Lust has two elements: a desire that has gotten inordinately strong and a demand for the immediate satisfaction of that desire. Neither of these is necessarily present in a boy starting to think about sexual intercourse. The job of his parents - and the church - is to seek to channel his sexual desire toward its proper use, not to try and stamp it out altogether.
Not all desire for good things is lust. When I am hungry, I might really want a hamburger, but that does not mean I lust for food. What marks a Christian man is the ability to keep balance in his life, the capacity to delay the satisfactions of his appetites, and a focus on the truly good - not that he has no desires.
Ever noticed how sometimes it only takes a glimpse of another person's body or viewing a sexual situation and that image is burned into your brain instantly. That image and the feelings can recall themselves at any time, or you can recall them yourself at any time. That image and feelings will remain just as powerful for many years!
Some have referred to this as the male (old fashioned) 'referdex', similar to the way people used to store telephone numbers and addresses ready for quick retrieval. The modern equivalent would be a database where information can be accessed quickly. Women do not function this way and find it hard to comprehend the way the male brain works in this (and other) areas. That is why most girls don't see the problem in dressing to get attention, because to them that is often all they are doing - wanting to be noticed.
Guys, this is how it is. It is doubtful this would be lust because it comes on without warning in a sudden situation outside of the guy's control and you can't just erase the image and feelings with some sort of repentance. Once the image is in there - it is there to stay.
I'm talking about unintentional (accidental) image collection here. Deliberate collection is another thing and unchecked can cause all the problems we talk about elsewhere here.
Your immature body has been flooded with a chemical called testosterone which brings on these strong sexual urges - it was not something you did that brought this on. You might have to go with it for a while until your body matures a bit and you get used to the effect this chemical has on your biological system. Plus, you are just discovering what a great gift has come alive in your body and like all good gifts, you want to use it and enjoy it - it is a normal fact of being a male human being!
You tend to get a bit more in control of things as you get older and you understand more how it all works. My advice is to masturbate as you need to, but don't try and speed things up by using lust (particularly porn) to bring on masturbation sooner than your body dictates. It takes time to learn all this - just keep heading in the direction of letting your body gradually getting horny and then masturbate to reduce your horny feelings.
The Bible acknowledges the world of lust that young guys are in and gives clear direction about what to do about it - however, read on:
'Lust' isn't an easy word to define. The dictionary defines it as a 'strong sexual desire', however, the Bible must mean something different than that because these verses apply to all people - including married people who are permitted and expected to have sexual desires. Masturbation is never given as an example of lust in the Bible.
Now, God made you sexual, it's part of being 'wonderfully made,' it's a gift from God, a blessing to you. Your sexual feelings are part of how God made you and what God gave to you - and God said, 'it is good' (He meant it, too). It's part of the 'program' God has just downloaded into you - and God didn't make a mistake or set you up to sin. But if we dwell on ungodly, sinful, twisted, perverted sex - that's not thanking God, that's not rejoicing in our sexuality, that's mocking it - and the Bible calls that 'lust'. In reality, it's a fine line that you'll be struggling with for the rest of your life.
Masturbate without lust?
I have tried living totally without lust and I can't do it. I get the urge to masturbate and I go ahead and then reach a certain point where I can't seem to go any further unless I imagine a sexual situation with another person. How can I satisfy this sexual desire without using lust to ejaculate? The lust makes me feel bad afterwards.
This is one of the biggest hassles for young guys who want to do the 'right thing' by the Bible's principles. Some guys say they can go all the way to ejaculation without fantasy, but most say they can't achieve orgasm without at least some fantasy (lust?) - at least near the end of the session.
If we look at wet dreams (the totally natural way that God designed us guys) there is nearly always some sexually based dream that accompanies ejaculation. Perhaps this is a natural 'base line' for how much lust/fantasy is acceptable. Remember wet dreams are totally out of our control and we believe our sexuality and the way it works is given to us as a gift from God. So we can infer there is a natural connection between ejaculation and some degree of sexy mind picture.
The Bible is unclear in this particular area of lust. We have the contradiction that lust is definitely out from a Bible perspective, but the natural function of wet dreams requires a sexual image to finish off with ejaculation. Somewhere in there is the middle ground we are looking for.
No guy will ever conquer lust. It is a daily discipline for all of us to stay free of its domination because we are creations who are turned on by what we see. If you have allowed lust to control things, you need to achieve these following steps to get free of its grip on your life and get back to a healthy balance:
- Stop using porn (images, music, reading material, games) to bring on masturbation. Let masturbation be brought on instead by the hormone pressure within you as your male body clock dictates.
- Reduce the lust even further by masturbating to the good feelings and then use one of those stored sexual images in your brain to 'finish off'. This is roughly equivalent to the way wet dreams work.
- Wait until the hormone pressure builds enough that you can masturbate with much less fantasy/lust. Some claim they can ejaculate without a mental sexual image (if they are telling the truth). Don't worry too much if you can't get to this level - a lot of young and older guys can't and probably never will.
- Still have a problem - some guys find help by finding an accountability person who can help you work your way out of the lust domination you are in - a lot of christian churches can help in this area. There is also a good resource at the end of this page.
Every guy will have a certain background level of sexual thoughts, sexual images and sexual desires very regularly surfacing in his brain. This is not lust. It is only when these things begin to dominate and control a guy's thinking and actions that lust would be defined.
Note it is not possible to return to the innocent level guys had when they were still young boys, so don't make that previous level your aim. You won't get back there now that testosterone is involved.
The level of lust in your life is a daily thing that needs to be actively controlled, especially in the sex obsessed society we live in.